CD REVIEW: The Mutt – A Palindromic Album by Casely

Casely’s pulse on the indie music world continues to expand with the exceptional album The Mutt – A Palindromic Album. Designed and sequenced to be listened to both forwards and backwards, Casely is no stranger to creating a unique sonic space and experience for his listeners. The Berklee College of Music graduate reveals a wide swath of artistry in all that he does and these eight tracks further cement his foundation as one of indie music’s most talented and exciting artists. From the ferocious “Rude Boy Summer” to the island-beat in “Annabella” and more, this album is a reflection of an artist on the rise.

A classically-trained pianist, Casely is from Miami, Florida. His parents hail from Trinidad and Panama and you can hear those cultures’ influences strongly represented throughout the quick tempo tracks. In the opening track, “Rude Boy Summer” he also features a guest artist from Trinidad, Braveboy. The song is sly, slick and strangely awesome humid. It’s not an oppressive tone, but the movement and flow in the track is very lush and throws off that island vibe. This is definitely a party song. Get ready to dance.

The second track, is acoustic. Casely’s “Never Be Alone” is the singer’s best showcase of his emotional delivery. So you’ve lost your stride, screaming deep in a crowd deaf to your cries, and it’s so painful. He draws from a well of hope, and an even deeper emotional source. This song is so beautiful and his words are just lyrics. They are a part of him. When you hear a song like this, you feel the energy from the artist, but he also transports you to a place that you feel like you’ve been before and you want to keep visiting. It’s not quite a home feeling, but it’s familiar and feels safe.

“Airflow” elicits Casely’s seductive traits. This song has a beat that just won’t quit. The percussion is addictive. It’s an electronic bed, but feels very fresh and intimate, like a beating heart. I see the world in your eyes, is this for real, Casely sings. His voice is chill, but meanders around the beats like a man on a mission. This song is sultry – not humid!

“Annabella” and “Dreams” are the next two tracks. “Dreams” has a darker tone, an eerie vibration. This might sound strange, but his voice almost sounded like Elton John’s to me when he sings the word ‘everybody’. These demons play deep inside my mind, Casely sings. This song is breathtakingly sad, but very beautiful. He’s fighting doubts, trying to come to terms with balancing his dreams. I think the line about how everyone commits a crime by wasting time struck me as very interesting. We need to utilize our talents and take advantage of time’s gift.

“Risk” is an intimate-sounding gem. Casely’s falsetto vocals remind me of Prince. The raw, acoustic guitar churns underneath his lyrics this won’t ever get fixed, staying in place is the only, only risk. The final tracks “You Know” and “Kerosene” offer even more examples of the depth he presents. “You Know” is smooth and R&B at its best. “Kerosene” escapes into air spaces all around – Casely’s presence surpasses all expectations.

Bethany Page

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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